Drug Overdose Mortality by Usual Occupation and Industry: 46 U.S. States and New York City, 2020

Link: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr72/nvsr72-07.pdf



Objective—This report describes deaths from drug overdoses in 2020 in U.S. residents in 46 states and New York City by usual occupation and industry. August 22, 2023

Conclusions—Variation in drug overdose death rates and PMRs by usual occupation and industry in 2020 demonstrates the disproportionate burden of the ongoing drug overdose crisis on certain sectors of the U.S. workforce.

Methods—Frequencies, death rates, and proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) are presented using the 2020 National Vital Statistics System mortality data file. Data were restricted to decedents aged 16–64 for rates and 15–64 for PMRs with usual occupations and industries in the paid civilian workforce. Age-standardized drug overdose death rates were estimated for usual occupation and industry groups overall, and age-adjusted drug overdose PMRs were estimated for each usual occupation and industry group overall and by sex, race and Hispanic-origin group, type of drug, and drug overdose intent. Age-adjusted drug overdose PMRs were also estimated for individual occupations and industries.

Results—Drug overdose mortality varied by usual occupation and industry. Workers in the construction and extraction occupation group (162.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, 95% confidence interval: 155.8–169.4) and construction industry group (130.9, 126.0–135.8) had the highest drug overdose death rates. The highest group-level drug overdose PMRs were observed in decedents in the construction and extraction occupation group and the construction industry group (145.4, 143.6–147.1 and 144.9, 143.2–146.5, respectively). Differences in drug overdose PMRs by usual occupation and industry group were observed within each sex, within each race and Hispanicorigin group, by drug type, and by drug overdose intent. Among individual occupations and industries, the highest drug overdose PMRs were observed in decedents who worked as fishers and related fishing occupations and in fishing, hunting, and trapping industries (193.1, 166.8–222.4 and 186.5, 161.7–214.1, respectively).

Author(s): Billock RM, Steege AL, Miniño A.

Publication Date: August 22, 2023

Publication Site: CDC, National Vital Statistics System

Fatality Inspection Data – Work-related fatalities for cases inspected by Federal or State OSHA

Link: https://www.osha.gov/fatalities

Archive data: https://www.osha.gov/fatalities/reports/archive


This page provides data on work-related fatalities that occurred under Federal OSHA and State Plan jurisdiction for cases that have been closed or citations issued on or after January 1, 2017.

Employers must report worker fatalities to OSHA within eight hours. OSHA investigates all work-related fatalities in all covered workplaces. The agency has up to six months to complete an investigation and determine whether citations will be issued.

The table below can be modified or searched by inserting additional information in the boxes above each column.

COVID-19-related fatalities are provided in the “COVID-19” tab below, and are not included in the CY 2017-22 list.

Publication Date: accessed 5 Sep 2023

Publication Site: OSHA, Department of Labor

The economic impact of the opioid epidemic

Link: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/usc-brookings-schaeffer-on-health-policy/2023/04/17/the-economic-impact-of-the-opioid-epidemic/



While the opioid epidemic has had significant impacts across the labor market, its effects have been particularly pronounced in specific occupations and industries. A CDC analysis of mortality data from 21 states concluded that unintentional and undetermined overdose deaths accounted for a disproportionate share of all deaths in the following six occupational groups: construction, extraction (e.g., mining), food preparation and serving, health care practitioners, health care support, and personal care and service. These fatalities are particularly concentrated in construction and extraction: an analysis by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that individuals employed in construction and extraction accounted for over 24% of all overdose deaths in the state’s working population.

Notably, the jobs with the highest rates of opioid overdose fatalities generally have high occupational injury rates and low access to paid sick leave. Figure 1 demonstrates that the industries with the highest rates of overdose fatalities in the workplace have elevated occupational injury rates for fractures and musculoskeletal disorders, both of which are significant risk factors for long-term opioid use.

Author(s): Julia Paris, Caitlin Rowley, and Richard G. Frank

Publication Date: 17 April 2023

Publication Site: Brookings

Long COVID Is Keeping Significant Numbers of People Out of Work, Study Finds

Link: https://www.yahoo.com/news/long-covid-keeping-significant-numbers-125618654.html

Source of study: https://ww3.nysif.com/

Link to study (will download): https://ww3.nysif.com/~/media/Files/NYSIF_Publications/PDF/NYSIFLongCOVIDStudy2023.ashx



Long COVID is having a significant effect on America’s workforce, preventing substantial numbers of people from going back to work while others continue needing medical care long after returning to their jobs, according to a new analysis of workers’ compensation claims in New York state.

The study, published Tuesday by New York’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, found that during the first two years of the pandemic, about 71% of people the fund classified as experiencing long COVID either required continuing medical treatment or were unable to work for six months or more. More than a year after contracting the coronavirus, 18% of long COVID patients had still not returned to work, more than three-fourths of them younger than 60, the analysis found.

“Long Covid has harmed the work force,” said the report, by the New York State Insurance Fund, a state agency financed by employer-paid premiums. The findings, it added, “highlight long Covid as an underappreciated yet important reason for the many unfilled jobs and declining labor participation rate in the economy, and they presage a possible reduction in productivity as employers feel the strains of an increasingly sick work force.”

Author(s): Pam Belluck

Publication Date: 24 Jan 2023

Publication Site: Yahoo (originally published at NYT)

What are the Implications of Long COVID for Employment and Health Coverage?

Link: https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/what-are-the-implications-of-long-covid-for-employment-and-health-coverage/



Preliminary evidence suggests there may be significant implications for employment: Surveys show that among adults with long COVID who worked prior to infection, over half are out of work or working fewer hours (Figure 2). Many conditions associated with long COVID—such as malaise, fatigue, or the inability to concentrate—limit people’s ability to work, even if they have jobs that allow for remote work and other accommodations. Two surveys of people with long COVID who had worked prior to infection showed that between 22% and 27% of those workers were out of work after getting long COVID. In comparison, among all working-age adults in 2019, only 7% were out of work. Given the sheer number of working age adults with long COVID, the employment implications may be profound and are likely to affect more people over time. One study estimates that long COVID already accounts for 15 percent of unfilled jobs.

Author(s): Alice Burns

Publication Date: 1 Aug 2022

Publication Site: KFF

Why For-Profit Workplace Insurance Ruins Workers’ Lives

Link: https://jacobin.com/2022/06/victoria-australia-workers-comp-private-insurance


In Victoria, Australia, a broken workplace injury compensation system is letting workers down. WorkSafe is the state’s institution that regulates industry safety standards and governs workplace injury insurance. However, its workers’ compensation arm, WorkCover, outsources the handling of workers’ compensation claims to private insurance companies that place profit ahead of the health of our communities’ most vulnerable members.

Deprived of a political voice that can stand for them, injured workers report being stalked by private investigators in order to force them back into work before they have recovered. This frequently exacerbates their injuries and triggers new and often debilitating psychological harm. This harassment is most often targeted at workers with long-term injuries or those who are homebound as a result of their injuries.

Recently, however, injured workers from across Victoria have started coming together to campaign for change. Most importantly, they are demanding an end to outsourcing essential social services to private insurance agents who have an interest in cutting workers off from compensation payments as soon as possible. For these efforts to bear fruit, however, it’s crucial to understand the origins of the existing system that prioritizes insurance companies’ profits over injured and sick workers’ health.

Author(s): Reece Gittins

Publication Date: 9 June 2022

Publication Site: Jacobin

Study: Logging, landscaping most dangerous jobs in U.S.

Link: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2021/09/18/logging-most-dangerous-profession/2541631912925/



Logging and landscaping are the most dangerous jobs in America, a new study finds.

The risk of death for loggers is more than 30 times higher than for all U.S. workers. Tree care workers also encounter hazards at rates far higher than a typical worker.


For the study, the researchers combed a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration database for deaths from tree felling between 2010 and the first half of 2020.

Over the period, Michael’s team found 314 deaths. The leading cause of fatal accidents was being struck by a tree, most often in the head.


Years such as 2012, 2017 and 2018 with abnormally high damage from Atlantic storms saw high numbers of landscaping deaths that might be tied to storm damage, while 2014 and 2015 had quiet hurricane seasons and few deaths.

Author(s): HealthDay News

Publication Date: 18 Sept 2021

Publication Site: UPI

Keeping Workers Safe: What Do the Numbers Say?

Link: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/keeping-workers-safe-what-do-the-numbers-say/?utm_source=kw_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2021-03-09


Smith-McLallen: In a broad sense, what the nonessential business closure policy did was to create a situation that limited interpersonal contact for nonessential workers who were staying at home. But it also limited contact for essential workers who were perhaps commuting with fewer people, for example, and not necessarily exposed to all of the people who were staying at home. That secondary protective effect was very effective at reducing cases.

Another thing about that secondary protective effect is we might think that if there would have been no nonessential business closure — if the nonessential workers had gone out to work — their infection rates would have been the same as we observed among the essential workers. There would be no difference. That’s what the results of our study speak to. However, there is a real possibility that the rates for everyone would have been considerably higher, even higher than what we observed in the essential worker population, just because of the increased contact and exposure across the board.

What I think policymakers should take from this research is that with new strains of the virus being discovered, if we reach a point where we need to aggressively limit contact and transmission, nonessential business closure policies can be effective. And now we can quantify just how effective they can be.

Author(s): Hummy Song, Aaron Smith-McLallen

Publication Date: 9 March 2021

Publication Site: Knowledge @ Wharton

Insurers Have Been Draining Funds from New Jersey’s Pensions for 15 Years

Link: https://www.ai-cio.com/news/insurers-draining-funds-new-jerseys-pensions-15-years/


Insurance firms have been siphoning off money from New Jersey’s pension funds for the past 15 years thanks to a policy decision that shifted financial obligations for employee injuries to pension funds, according to an investigation by acting state Comptroller Kevin Walsh.

A report on the investigation said that a 2006 policy adopted by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) encourages injured employees to accept continuing medical monitoring and coverage instead of cash settlements. The report said the approach, which puts the financial burden on pension funds to pay workers rather than on insurance firms, has provided “a windfall to insurers and financially harms the pension funds.”

At least 114 public employees received both an accidental disability pension and a medical monitoring settlement between 2016 and 2019, according to the report. However, it said the exact cost to the pension funds was unknown because there are no records or data on what insurers would have paid in the absence of medical monitoring settlements.

Author(s): Michael Katz

Publication Date: 8 February 2021

Publication Site: ai-CIO

NJ Pensions Funding WC Insurers


The New Jersey State Comptroller released a report examining a practice within the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) that allows state, school and local government employees injured on the job to seek weekly benefits, a lump sum settlement or continuing medical coverage, in addition to an accidental disability pension.

As deleterious as this practice may be for the state pension fund, eliminating it will only cost taxpayers more when the bigger picture is considered.

The DWC’s policies encourage workers’ compensation petitioners to settle claims that undermine New Jersey’s pension funds, provide windfalls to workers’ compensation insurance providers, including joint insurance funds and private insurance companies, and provide medical monitoring and coverage to employees without evaluating whether these benefits are justified by the nature of the injury. 

Author: John Bury

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

Publication Site: Burypensions